NRPA is supporting the
National Wildlife Federation’s 10 Million Kids Outdoors campaign. This
three-year initiative seeks a future in which all children spend time outside
each day - creating a generation of happier and healthier children with more
awareness and connection to the natural world.
The nature of childhood has changed...there’s
not much nature in it. Young
people today spend less time outdoors in nature than ever before. A generation
ago 75% of American kids played outside daily; nowadays, only 25% do. Children
are spending just minutes per day learning and playing outdoors and more than
seven sedentary hours per day in front of electronic media.
Childhood as a whole
has moved indoors due to various societal shifts in how children spend their time.
Increased afterschool activities including homework and sports, shorter or
nonexistent recess, lack of access to green spaces and concerns over
unsupervised outdoor play have all contributed to today's children spending
significantly more time inside than their parents did. This trend is reflected
across all demographics and without regard to geographic location. However,
children within urban environments, particularly those within under-resourced
urban communities, face the greatest barriers to engaging nature through
outdoor play and exploration.
Childhood’s indoor trend impacts health and
well-being. It’s not just a
lost connection with our natural world; it’s a serious public health issue. In
the last two decades: child obesity rates have more than doubled, more children
are vitamin-D deficient, the United States has become the largest consumer of
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medications in the world, and
the use of antidepressants in pediatric patients has risen sharply. Studies point
to sedentary and indoor lifestyles as contributing factors in these alarming
Park and Recreation Departments Are Key!
Help Get Kids Outdoors
Know! The benefits of providing parks and
programming for connecting children to nature through 10 Million Kids Outdoors
- Improve health and wellness;
- Provide quality parks and recreation experiences;
- Foster environmental stewardship and appreciation of nature;
- Raise awareness of the value of structured and unstructured play;
- Ensure safe, affordable and accessible park and recreation opportunities; and
- Position parks, recreation and environmental conservation as essential to every community.
Visit! Explore the National Wildlife Federation 10 Million Kids website.
Contact Jimmy O'Connor at NRPA with any questions.